Quality Assurance & Quality Control Procedures for the Drilling Program at Barsele
All sampling, drilling, testing and analyses are conducted using rigorous QA/QC procedures to ensure reliability and validity of results beyond basic regulatory guidelines. Having sound QA/QC protocols in place instills a level of confidence within the Company, as Barsele is fully aware of what is happening with all samples, at all times. Moreover, transparent QA/QC procedures demonstrate Barsele's strict adherence to industry "Best Practices" to the investment community.
Here's an example of the path that all samples follow from initial core drilling to final announcement of results:
On The Property
- Agnico Eagle ("AE") geologists lay out drill-hole locations in the field. AE staff supervise pad construction (and later reclamation) & fore-sight/back-sight markers are set to align the direction of drilling.
- Drilling is conducted by ADC Drilling Company of Rovaniemi, Finland, and Kati Drilling of Rautio, Finland. The drills are track-mounted rigs, capable of drilling to 2,000 metres. The diamond drill core is WL76 size, reducing to NQ as depth requires, which provides a large sample as recommended for the testing of precious metal deposits. Oriented core measurements are done every 3 meters.
- Down-hole surveys are conducted at 4-5 m intervals along the drill hole using a GyroSmart or Deviflex survey device, or similar unit, to measure azimuth and dip of the hole.
- The driller is responsible for ensuring that the core is placed in boxes in the correct order, and to mark the length on tags after each rod-length of core. This step is examined by the on-duty project geologist.
- After each drill shift, the drillers deliver the core to the AE core logging facility in the nearby town of Storuman.
- Boxes are then laid out on logging tables and checked to make sure that the core is continuous and in the right order in each box. Core boxes are cleaned at this stage to remove drill grease.
- Measurements of core between rod-length tags are taken to determine drill core recovery percentages.
- Oriented core is routinely done at the start of each rod run. If oriented marks are present on the core then the core is aligned in a 4 m core tray holder so the oriented mark can be drawn along with the shorter arrow lines indicating downhole direction. It is always the down/lower side of the core that is marked.
- Different rock quality sections are marked on the core boxes. The proportions of core fragments shorter than 10 cm in length are determined for each section to obtain an RQD value. The total length of fragments shorter than 10 cm is recorded, the number of naturally occurring fractures in each section are calculated and if core loss occurs this is also entered into the RQD log that automatically calculates the RQD-value for the section. While this information will not be used in the exploration stage, it will be valuable information for future mine design indicating where competent ground & broken ground conditions can be expected.
- All core boxes are then clearly labelled with "from" and "to" lengths in metres.
- Geological logging of core is conducted & sample positions are marked to conform with lithological/alteration changes. Sample numbers are written on the core boxes corresponding to pre-printed sample tags for each sample interval.
- A photographic record, both dry and wet, is made of every core box and digitally uploaded to an FTP site for examination.
- Samples are moved to the testing table for determination of specific gravity. An SG value is determined for every rock type, plus samples with high sulphide content. This information is used when determining tonnage.
Barsele in Sweden
- Agnico Eagle personnel move the core boxes from the logging facility to the MS Analytical core sample preparation area in Storuman. MS Analytical is responsible for core cutting. Diamond saw blade cutters are used to cut the core in half.
- Strong rock sample bags are labelled with sample numbers on the outside with the sample tags inserted inside, then half the core is placed in its respective sample bag.
- Commercial geostandard samples, blank sample of barren rock or duplicate sample, are inserted every 10th sample as an analytical check for laboratory batches. These geostandards represent a range of values for gold.
- Sample bags are then closed and inserted in large wooden shipping crates. These crates are labelled with the batch number and company name, with laboratory instruction sheet placed in crate #1 of sampling batch.
- The remaining half of the drill core is transported to a secure core storage facility.
- Agnico Eagle personnel move the crates with the half core samples from the MS Analytical core sample preparation area in Storuman and transport them to the ALS Laboratory in Malå.
- From this point onward, ALS takes responsibility for the samples. The Malå lab is where the samples are crushed and a sub-sample is pulverized. The pulverized pulp is placed in kraft sample bags and the un-pulverized portions are returned to original sample bags.
- ALS ships the remainder of the crushed samples, referred to as "sample rejects", back to Storuman for storage. The sample rejects are thus available for re-testing when required. The sample pulps are shipped to ALS Minerals in Romania for gold analyis, and to Ireland for ICP analysis.
- In Ireland, the sample pulps are analysed by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ME-MS61) for 48 elements and gold is tested by Fire Assay, with an Atomic Absorbtion Spectroscopy (AAS) or Gravimetric finish depending on grade (Au-AA24 and Au-GRA22). Each method has a lower and upper calibration range for which results are accurately determined.
- Samples returning grades above the method limit are assayed with over limit method ME-062 for Ag, Cu, Pb, and Zn.
- ALS Minerals puts in 2 standards and 3 duplicates for every 35 sample runs. Check assay samples are done if any of these in-house standards fail, or if some other deviations are observed (e.g. individual high grade sample occurs or contamination is suspected.)
- Results are tabulated on spreadsheets and e-mailed to Agnico Eagle geologists. Originals of the assay certificates are sent as PDF documents and the certificates are printed out and stored at location in Storuman.
- Upon receiving completed analytical results, geologists then extract the duplicate & standard samples for examination of expected values versus tested values.
- The spreadsheet information for drill hole samples is then matched with sampling intervals & geological observations for interpretation.
- Results of the merged data are then sent to AE management, along with a statement of the QA/QC acceptability of the analytical batch for inclusion into the project database.
- Once verified by Agnico Eagle, Barsele management periodically prepares news releases to make public the information from the drilling in a format compatible with NI 43-101 standards. A "Qualified Person" signs-off on news releases containing technical data.